President Muhammadu Buhari has observed that the lack of foreign investment is denying employable young persons the opportunity to work in the country.
In an article titled “A new case for a Commonwealth based on trade,” made available to the media in Abuja on Sunday, he said greater United Kingdom engagement with Nigeria will bring jobs in untapped sectors.
He said: “For my country, greater UK engagement in its economy would bring jobs to under-tapped sectors, such as agriculture and manufacturing. Millions of highly skilled, English-speaking but underemployed young people, are eager to work but without the opportunities that foreign investment can bring to create jobs and build businesses.”
The president noted that with the United Kingdom certain to exit the European Union, like many other Commonwealth leaders, he is also seeking a new settlement, “not only of closer relations between the UK and my own nation but of unleashing trade within the club in which we together shall remain.”
He observed that even though the relations between Nigeria and the UK are close and longstanding, it has become increasingly defined by Britain’s membership of the European Union.
He added: “A new free trade agreement would reconfigure this, presenting new opportunities for both. As the largest economy in Africa, my country of nearly 200 million people has a great deal to offer: Nigeria’s vast natural energy and mineral resources, unbarred through the ending of customs barriers, could help supply growth for companies in all corners of the UK.
“Greater access would also be forthcoming to one of the world’s fastest expanding groups of consumers – the Nigerian middle classes.”